The New York Times goes all out with an in-depth look at the Beirut gay scene from pageants to parties, it seems Beirut has it all from bear hunting…

Bertho, a 28-year-old Lebanese tour operator who was the host of the main event that Thursday night in June: the Bear Arabia Mega Party, at the Oceana resort about 30 minutes south of Beirut. Scores of gay men — most of them “bears,” a term used the world over for heavyset, hairy guys usually older than 30 — were coming from across Lebanon and the Arab world, as well as Argentina, Italy, Mexico, the United States and elsewhere. Bertho had been picking them up at the Beirut airport since morning, and he looked exhausted as he handed out fistfuls of condoms to the dozen men in the room.

…to gay travel guides…

In the years since, Lebanon has become one of the most liberal Arab counties when it comes to sexuality and sexual behavior, according to Michael T. Luongo, the editor of the 2007 book “Gay Travels in the Muslim World,” which was translated and printed in Arabic this summer by a Beirut publishing house, Arab Diffusion.

…to same-sex travel spots…

I met Steven Larkin, the co-founder of OUT Adventures, a Canadian-based travel company, who happened to be visiting the bar that night. He said he had come to assess Beirut as a possible destination for his clients. OUT Adventures now books tours in Egypt and Morocco, he said, and has been eyeing Beirut for some time to determine if the city is reasonably safe and sufficiently appealing for gay visitors.

…and finally your “we’re here, we’re queer” bunch:

Acid opened in 1998 and quickly emerged as the final stop of the night, as the dancing rages past dawn. As everyone told me, the club was wall-to-wall men, some of whom made out with one another without any evident inhibition. No one used to kiss inside clubs, Raed told me later, but now he regularly kisses his boyfriend when they are dancing.

One Saturday afternoon, the enormous square pool at Saint-Georges was full of a mix of groups of men and parents with children. Many more men lay out on lounge chairs and ordered bar service; one of them multitasked by applying pomade to his hair and suntan oil to his chest while answering his cellphone, which had the “Sex and the City” theme music as its ring tone.

NY Times (Bryan Denton): Dancing goes on until dawn at Acid, one of the city’s best-known gay clubs.

NY Times (Bryan Denton): Dancing goes on until dawn at Acid, one of the city’s best-known gay clubs.